Sunday, December 11, 2011

Revision versus Editing.

It's done.  How many times do we say those fatal words?  When I sent out a manuscript  to an editor recently it was returned, but the editor requested I revise the manuscript and resubmit.
Wow. A rejection with the possibility of acceptance if I revised it?

I was like any two year old,  excited and yet ready to throw a tantrum. A friend pointed me in the direction of a book by Theodore Cheney. Getting the Words Right.

And I discovered a whole new way of editing. Instead of regarding it as drudgery I looked on it as a chance to strengthen an already good story and make it even better. I identified weak passages where  the intent of a character was not clear and during this revision, rewrote and strengthened those areas.
I found and deleted redundancies that previously escaped my notice.

The difference to the manuscript is incredible.
And to quote Cheney, "The reader won't know or miss that unnecessary thread you've pared away from the whole.  And in pruning the wordy underbrush a reader can see the stature of the trees.

I would recommend this book to anyone.   Along with a hefty dose of courage to put his advice into practice.
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